From Canada: I suffered an injury/misalignment to my neck in the past that caused a lot of issues with brain fog/cognitive decline. It also made it so when I got even a little bit stressed out, I’d get a lot of muscle tension, which would only worsen the brain fog/cognitive decline/short term memory loss. And because I had these cognitive issues, virtually everything that would require me to think (reading, writing, research, contemplation, etc) caused stress, muscle tension and then cognitive issues.

It eventually got to a point where the only way to not get stressed out, and therefore not have muscle tension and cognitive decline, was to simply not think. I did this by just spending days, weeks or months watching movies/tv.

Anyway, I’m at a point now where the injury has been corrected, but I seem to have attached these “triggers” to all of those old things that used to cause me issue. The problem is that these things aren’t specific, but again, very general things like reading, working, researching, etc. So, at this point, I still find myself watching movies/tv most of the day when I am not moving around or doing something trivial like housework, etc, in order to avoid the muscle tension and cognitive decline that would result.

What’s worse is that these “triggers” get tripped automatically now without me actually having to get stressed out when performing those thought-intensive tasks; and they often happen within seconds/minutes of starting them. I simply start doing them and the symptoms immediately return until I stop.

This issue is very frustrating and confusing, although I assume it is not unlike those people who break their legs in a traumatic event and even when their legs physically recover they still can’t walk because their brain has ingrained the misfiring signal/dysfunction.

I imagine if I was living in hunter-gather times or could spend the next 2 years living as monk, the issue would resolve itself. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible, so I am wondering if there is some type of therapy you’d recommend to correct/alleviate this issue?

Currently, I am on no medication and not receiving any therapy.

A: There are many schools of therapy that might be helpful, I know. But if you were seeing me, I’d suggest we do some work with hypnosis. I’m not suggesting the type of hypnosis that’s on stage where people are made to quack like a duck or something. I’m talking about hypnosis done by a qualified and experienced therapist who specializes in the consequences of injury or pain. In this type of hypnosis, the client is always aware or what is happening and is in control of whether to stay in trance or not. You can learn self-hypnosis skills that will help you manage the triggers.

I suggest you contact the division of the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis that serves your province. Their websites have referral networks of professionals who are certified.

If hypnosis isn’t for you, I do suggest that you find a therapist you are comfortable with. If you could solve this problem on your own, you would have done so already. Why not get some help?

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie